The Root has promoted its managing editor Danielle Belton to become the first editor-in-chief of the African-American-focused site.
Prior to joining The Root, Belton worked as a senior digital media strategist for the civil rights nonprofit Advancement Project. She was also a head writer for a late-night talk show on BET, “Don’t Sleep hosted by T. J. Holmes.” She is also the founder of popular political and pop-culture blog “The Black Snob” in 2007. Her work has appeared in The Daily Beast, Essence, The Guardian, The American Prospect, Jezebel, NPR and more.
Belton has served as the managing editor since May 2016. Under her leadership, The Root, which launched in 2008, reached a record 12.1 million U.S. unique readers in August, up from about 5 million a year ago. August also marked The Root’s sixth-straight month of growth in page views, up 56% from the previous month.
David Ford, senior vice president of PR and communications at parent company Fusion Media Group, told Publishers Daily the decision to add this position was “a recognition of the growth and influence of The Root since it joined Gizmodo Media’s network of sites in January.”
Ford said the company has invested “additional resource” to the brand over the past several months. “Adding the editor-in-chief role reflects that,” he said. Belton will report to Gizmodo Media Group’s editorial director Susie Banikarim.
“From pop culture to politics, Danielle has brought a fresh, insightful perspective to The Root’s daily news coverage”Donna Byrd, VP and Publisher, The Root
“She has an ability to connect with our community on the issues that matter in an authentic, unapologetic voice.”